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My version of the "Day of the Rascal" build from this site

3279 Views 47 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  STEINBVG
One of the members here built a replica of the "Day of the Jackal" rifle that looks really true to the movie. He made a great build thread about it here: https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1240731

I always liked that movie and I've wanted, for some time, a very light rifle for backpacking so I've decided to make use of STEINBVG's great work and the motivation he has provided for me to make my own.

Therefore I've decided to copy his build with some slight differences since I'm not trying to be accurate to the movie, but rather to just be similar. I expect to make a stock like the movie, and another for the backpacking that focuses on tiny and light.

So far I'm just getting parts and I have verified that the donor rifle functions. It's been too nasty to go out, but at home I was able to shoot 10 yards with the OE peeps using super colibri and the rounds overlap so this will be a good donor for the project.
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Picked up a 3/8 grade 8 bolt on the way home from work.

Finally located my punch set.

Converted the bolt to cock on close, but I have more to do here as the closing force is too high.

Waiting for the scope to arrive. Waiting to pick up weaver bases and modify them.
The scope finally came. Barska 4x15 3/4 inch tube. Wow it is crap, but it is very small, very light and very cheap. If it will more or less hold zero it will be good enough.
Looks like that scope is from the same place as mine, just mine is a fixed 4x. At that price I didn't want to trust the mechanicals inside it.

Many other projects have been keeping me away from this.

The scope came with 3/8 dovetail rings. The rifle has no dovetail, but does have weaver bases. I can't find any 3/4 inch tube to weaver base rings. Looks like I'm either going to mill the receiver for the dovetail, or mill the bases from weaver down to 3/8. Trouble is I don't have a mill and my friend who does moved and all the stuff is in storage.
That looks like the answer. Thank you. I had missed that in your build that you can order a strip of already made 3/8 dovetail.

I was worried about milling the 3/8 in the aluminum weaver bases and having it not be strong enough.
The 3/8 dovetail rail stock came today. I got lucky and the lower side round is just about right. I typically JB Weld bed my bases for final mount anyway, so it will work out fine.

I sent for a copy of the book and am sad to say that the paperback version I got does not include the graphic plates.
I have made and mounted the dovetail bases. I can finally try to get out and shoot it.

I will probably remake these bases once I get access to a mill, but the drill press version came out good enough to work for now.

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Still waiting on access to a lathe. Meanwhile I did the timing belt and water pump on my daily car as well as a very thorough cooling system clean to get rid of the slimey sludge that results from the orange "lifetime" coolant after a couple years.
I bet you thought I was gone. ;)

I now have a thing that looks like a lathe and some tooling, but no driver. I've been messing with it a bit to up my game beyond the "I've watched some videos" level before I do something dumb like thread the muzzle crooked.

I re-made the striker. Now the hole is actually in the middle, the front face is more square than "looks good from your house", and the diameter fits the inside of the bolt better. I also noticed that the first one had some marks in the face from hitting the firing pin so I put a light heat treat on this time.

The old one is on the right, and the new one has the nice dark blue heat treat on the left.


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I"ve been learning to operate the lathe and produce good work. I'm almost ready to make the parts for the fake muzzle device.
Tonight I cut the threads on the muzzle and also cut the fill peice for the front sight dovetail.

I then set up to make a thread protector, but sometime before now something happened to ruin the cutting edge on the drill bit I need, so that will have to wait until stores open.

I also blued the work.
Sharpen it. That's part of metal working.
True, but I don't at the moment have a grinder setup suitable for sharpenning the bit. I certainly won't throw away the bit, and will sharpen it later. Meantime, I don't want to wait.
OK, got that step done.

The muzzle threaded and just kissed with my 11* crown cutter. Then reblued.

I found that my problem drilling was that the part work hardened because the toy lathe doesn't have enouh torque to run at the correct speed for drilling 15/32. I managed to anneal the part and drill it on the drill press. Then hand tapped it with the tap follower in the drill press. Then I made a male thread mandrel on the lathe to screw the part on to and turn the outside to match the thread. Cleaned it and put it on the stove for a warm and cold blued it.

I had to drill on the press and then turn down on the mandrel for the threaded part of the fake can and I did the same for a second part that I then (after making a boring bar small enough) bored out to .008 bigger than the barrel 4 inches back from the threads. This is so it doesn't rub and ruin the bluing. The size difference also allows for one wrap of black electrical tape as a protector and damper to stop vibration. I made the fake can 8 inches long from 3/4 inch emt conduit. That size and the 4 inches set back on the barrel give the correct proportions as in the film even though I have a 16+ inch barrel and the film seems to have a 12 inch barrel. I used HCl to burn off the galvanization, and TIG to attach the center threaded bit and the back end cap. From the muzzle forward is completely empty and not capped to be sure it can't possibly reduce sound. And it doesn't.


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Thanks. I find that when cold bluing you should evenly heat the part to the point where you can't quite hold on to it, although you shouldn't be actually touching it for skin oil reasons, that's just a WAG temperature reference. Obviously it has to be perfectly clean first, and the heating can't transfer any contaminates. Then use 100% cotton Q-tips or balls to apply the blue. When the whole part is colored, do a second coat that might involve some light scrubbing to get the color even. Then give it a few seconds to work. If it is drying off right away it's a bit too hot. Then thoroughly rinse in cold water. Completely dry it right away. Use more gentle heat and blowing if needed. Finally, generously coat with gun oil.

I don't recall where I read that slight heating helps, but whoever it was, hit that nail.

I wouldn't say you need to cut yours down. We are each making our own grown-up toy inspired by the same source. If a museum needed an exact copy of the original, then that would be different, but we're just having fun challenging ourselves to make a thing.
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This weekend I started working on the trigger group. It sure is painful using only a drill press and files.
The tedious work is the inside slots where a mill bit or file fits and other tools don't fit so well.
Big delay. I brought my Subaru rear diff into the shop to rebuild this weekend, and turns out RockAuto sent me the wrong seals (fronts when I ordered rears). So now it is all apart and I can't file or turn in there until that is done.
Looks like I can get the Subaru back together through this coming week and maybe into the weekend.
So many things have pushed this project back. Car stuff. That co-worker who keeps coming to work ill and then everyone else gets it. House stuff. More car stuff.

I did a quick lathe project for more practice: 32 acp converter for my 7.62x54r.

But this project is still on the list to do.
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I feel like Lebel at the point he realized, at the elevnth hour, the date on which the operation would take place. How could I have missed it?

Upon watching again, the movie, and also reading the book, I find that the trigger is of a completely different design to what I had thought previously. I shall have to completely rethink how to accomplish these parts. Fortunately, I do not believe the changes will invalidate my work on the trigger housing up to this point which has been rather laborious. Indeed, I believe that I will have the oportunity to affect a much nicer trigger without the limitations on geometry imposed by my previous ideas on the topic.

But, first thing is first, I shall have to attempt to learn to speak and write English in a way normal to the ear of today and do away with the style in which the book is written.
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